Accuracy and Trust of Self-Testing for Bacterial Vaginosis
Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio. Electronic address: . Journal of Adolescent Health
(Impact Factor: 3.61).
10/2012; 51(4):400–405. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.01.017
PurposeTwo point-of-care tests are available to detect bacterial vaginosis (BV), a common vaginal condition. This study aimed to (1) compare the accuracy of two self-performed BV tests with clinician-performed BV tests and with clinical diagnosis of BV; and (2) compare trust of results for self-performed BV testing with clinician-performed BV testing.Methods
Participants (14–22 years old) in a study assessing self-testing for Trichomonas vaginalis were also asked to perform a self-test for BV (using a pH or sialidase test). Results were compared with clinician-performed tests and with clinical diagnosis of BV (defined by modified Amsel criteria). A two-item subscale from a larger acceptability scale was used to assess trust at baseline, after testing, and after discussion of results.ResultsAll 131 women performed self-BV testing correctly. Agreement between self- and clinician-performed tests was good (κ: .5–.7) Compared with clinical diagnosis of BV, self-pH was 73% sensitive and 67% specific, and self-sialidase was 40% sensitive and 90% specific. Trust in self-performed BV testing was lower than trust in clinician-performed BV testing at baseline, but increased after testing and discussion of results.Conclusions
Young women can perform self-tests for BV with reasonable accuracy, which could increase testing when pelvic examinations are not feasible. Trust in self-testing increased after experience and after discussion of test results. Although the pH test is available over the counter, young women may continue to rely on clinicians for testing.
Available from: Bin Huang
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Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) is responsible for regulating inflammatory damage to and innate and adaptive immune responses in the vaginal mucosa. Depressed cervicovaginal SLPI levels have been correlated with both Trichomonas vaginalis infection and poor reproductive health outcomes.
We measured levels of SLPI in 215 vaginal specimens collected from adolescent and young adult females aged 14-22 years. Log-transformed SLPI values were compared by analysis of variance or by an unpaired t test before and after adjustment for confounding effects through the propensity score method.
Females receiving hormonal contraceptives and those with an abnormal vaginal pH had lower SLPI levels as compared to their peers. After propensity score adjustment for race, behavioral factors, hormonal use, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), SLPI levels were lower in females with a positive T. vaginalis antigen test result, a vaginal pH >4.5, vaginal leukocytosis, and recurrent (vs initial) T. vaginalis infection, with the lowest levels observed in those with the highest T. vaginalis loads.
The SLPI level was reduced by >50% in a T. vaginalis load-dependent manner. Future research should consider whether identifying and treating females with low levels of T. vaginalis infection (before they become wet mount positive) would prevent the loss of SLPI and impaired vaginal immunity. The SLPI level could be used as a vaginal-health marker to evaluate interventions and vaginal products.
Available from: Mary Jett-Goheen
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ABSTRACT: Abstract. Background: Clinicians and developers identify sensitivity as an important quality in a point-of-care test (POCT) for sexually transmissible infections (STIs). Little information exists regarding what patients want for STI POCTs. Methods: A qualitative study, encompassing five focus groups among attendees of STI and adolescent health centres in Baltimore, Maryland, and Cincinnati, Ohio, were conducted between March 2008 and April 2009. Discussion topics included advantages and disadvantages of having a POCT, perceived barriers to using POCTs in the clinic setting and at home, priorities for the development of new POCTs for STIs, and envisioned characteristics of an ideal POCT. All discussions were recorded and transcribed. A qualitative content analysis was performed to examine frequencies or patterns of recurring codes, which were regrouped and indexed to identify salient themes. Results: Patients attending STI and adolescent outpatient clinics are in favour of diagnostic tests that are rapid, easy to read and simple to use. Home testing
options for POCTs were acceptable and provided better confidentiality, privacy and convenience, but clinic-based POCTs were also acceptable because they offer definitive results and ensure immediate treatment. Barriers to home POCTs centred on cost and the ability to read and perform the test correctly at home. Opinions did not differ by patient ethnicity, except that Hispanic participants questioned the reliability of home test results, wanted high sensitivity and desired bilingual instructions. Conclusions: Patients attending STI and adolescent medical centres are in favour of STI POCTs if they are affordable, rapid, easy to read and simple to use.
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ABSTRACT: Ascending bacterial infection is implicated in about 40-50% of preterm births. The human vaginal microbiota in most women is dominated by lactobacilli. In women whose vaginal microbiota is not lactobacilli-dominated anti-bacterial defence mechanisms are reduced. The enhanced proliferation of pathogenic bacteria plus degradation of the cervical barrier increase bacterial passage into the endometrium and amniotic cavity and trigger preterm myometrial contractions. Evaluation of protocols to detect the absence of lactobaciili dominance in pregnant women by self-measuring vaginal pH, coupled with measures to promote growth of lactobacilli are novel prevention strategies that may reduce the occurrence of preterm birth in low-resource areas.
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